Rice might not be the first thing you think of to deep fry. But recipes from Korea, Thailand and even Italy lean on this technique to produce snacks, desserts and dumplings. The less wet the rice, the better the result and the safer your adventure into deep-frying. This means you’ll be working with cooked and cooled rice -- ideally leftovers chilled overnight and further dried on a griddle.
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Things You'll Need
- Cookie sheet
- Absorbent paper towels
Set aside several cups of cooked short-grain or brown rice for your deep-frying recipe. If you don’t have time to cool the rice in the refrigerator overnight, spread it out on a cookie sheet and allow it to air dry until it reaches room temperature.
Dry the rice additionally, if needed for your recipe. Press the cooked rice down with a spatula, until it is about 1/2 inch deep, onto a dry, heated griddle or pan to lightly toast each side. If you need completely dry cooked rice, place the sheet in a low, 275-degree Fahrenheit oven until it's dry enough for your recipe -- for as long as 1 hour.
Shape and season the cooled rice if required for your recipe. For example, Italian arancini rice balls need to be shaped by hand into orange-sized balls, stuffed with mozzarella and seasoned with flour, egg, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. For Korean deep-fried rice, toast thin slabs of cooled rice about the size of waffles on each side on a hot griddle.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or tall-sided pan until it reaches around 325 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by a deep-frying or candy thermometer. Deep-fry the rice pieces one at a time, leaving plenty of room around each, until they are crispy and golden-brown. Drain them on absorbent paper towels.
Tips & Warnings
- Work with heavy bottom cookware and fry with fresh oil.
- Serve Thai style with a shrimp, pork or peanut dip, or sprinkle with sugar for the simple Korean dessert nurungji.
- Wear long sleeves and an apron to protect yourself when deep-frying. Avoid filling your pan fuller than 2 inches from the top.
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- Migi's Kitchen: A Delicious Guide to Korean Home Cooking: Deep-Fried Rice
- Fine Dining Lovers: Arancini Rice Balls
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: Deep Fat Frying and Food Safety
- Gourmet: Eight Great Tips for Deep-Frying
- Photo Credit Fedor Kondratenko/iStock/Getty Images